The Game Awards have come and gone for their fifth year running. As always, the ceremony was a grand celebration of the ever-expanding communities and culture of gaming across the globe.
Though before 2018’s GOTY was crowned, gamers from all over the world were treated to a rare sight — Reggie Fils-Aimé (Nintendo), Phil Spencer (Microsoft), and Shawn Layden (Sony) took the stage to open the ceremony. It’s rare to see the faces of the big three in gaming events, much less together on stage side-by-side!
With many strong contenders from one of gaming’s biggest years ever, the highlight of the show was God of War winning Game Of The Year. While Rockstar’s juggernaut Red Dead Redemption 2 was a favorite to sweep the awards, it was Santa Monica Studio’s God of War that took home the biggest prize, as well as Best Direction and Best Action Adventure Game.
Meanwhile, Red Dead Redemption 2 took home Best Narrative, Best Performance (for Roger Clark as lead character Arthur Morgan), Best Sound Design, and Best Score.
Indie hits Celeste and Return of the Obra Dinn also took home awards, winning Best Independent Game and Best Art Direction respectively. Other winners of the night included Fortnite for Best On-Going Game, Forza Horizon 4 for Best Sports/racing Game, Florence for Best Mobile, and Astro Bot for Best VR/AR Game.
We were treated to some surprises as well, including new trailers for BioWare’s upcoming epic Anthem and Dragon Age The Dread Wolf Rises, as well as announcement trailers for Obsidian’s new title The Outer Worlds, a remake of Crash Team Racing, Psychonauts 2, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3, and the new Far Cry title.
One literal show stopper was the dramatic interruption of the presentation for Best Sports/Racing Game by the brutal new trailer for Mortal Kombat 11. There were also several premieres for titles demonstrating innovative looks at humanity throughout space and time, like Ancestors or Journey To The Savage Planet. Finally, we also have a new Devil May Cry 5 trailer, as well as the Persona 5 x Super Smash Bros. collab.
The creatives who helped grow the industry were also celebrated, with popular streamer Ninja winning Content Creator Of The Year and fighting game champion Sonic Fox winning Best eSports Athlete.
As the fifth iteration of the show under Geoff Keighley’s stewardship, the Game Awards has found solid footing but is still evolving to find its ideal form. With a frequent amount of musical interludes and commercial breaks the pacing of the event felt abrasive at times. But the love for the industry is apparent in every effort, even those that feel a touch more awkward than others.
This award show is an amazing feat for the industry as it continues to promote the hard working individuals behind the scenes of the games we love. Plus, it has also become a gaming event to watch out for because of all the game reveals!